In the events business, success is determined by one factor and one factor alone – ticket sales. Regardless of whether you are looking to sell out a 100,000 seater stadium or a couple of dozen tickets in a small function room, without anyone in attendance your event is a failure.
Selling tickets may sound easy, especially if you genuinely believe that your event is something that everyone would enjoy. Experienced promoters, however, will know all too well that simply isn’t the case – you have to market your event well enough for your target audience to know it’s happening. For this to happen, you need to remove yourself from your bubble to appreciate the bigger picture.
Digital and Print
Up until around 10 to 15 years ago, the large majority of marketing channels were print. This may include newspaper and magazine advertisements, banners, posters and flyers and leaflets amongst others. Now, digital channels such as SEO, social media and email campaigns very much have their role to play in the world of marketing.
The big question that promoters in the modern day face are what is going to give you the biggest bang for your buck? Or, more important, what will sell those tickets that haven’t budged since announcing they were on sale?
Unfortunately, there isn’t one concrete answer as the demographic that you are targeting will very much sway what methods should be utilised. With variables such as age, sex, interests and location, there is so much you have to consider before spending the entirety of your marketing budget on Twitter Ads (here’s a tip, it’s hardly ever a good idea).
How are you selling tickets for your event? Will you be selling them online or via a physical box office? While some promoters do both, many simply do not have the means of doing so and rely solely on one or the other. In the present day, it is commonplace to sell tickets online as most of the market is online, as well as being convenient.
That doesn’t mean, however, that you should completely discount the prospect of selling tickets at a physical box office, especially if your event is taking place at a venue that sees regular traffic. For example, a bar that is holding a live stand-up comedy night is likely to sell tickets on the premises as there will already be customers that are familiar with the venue – it’s where the audience already is.
Selling digital tickets online, though, can save costs in respect to printing and postage – there are a number of ticketing sites that specialise in the selling of digital tickets. The best part about such websites is that the promoter doesn’t have to pay a penny for the service, as the ticketing website makes their money in booking fees paid by the customer. Of course, this may put off the customer, who wouldn’t have to pay a booking fee at a box office.
The Local Area
Unless you are promoting an event with national and/or international interest, your target audience is in the local area. This means making sure that all local residents at least know about your event before it takes place.
Depending on the area, digital methods may be limited. Social media, such as Facebook, will help you to target an exact niche in the local area, but what you have to consider is whether the audience you can find on Facebook or any other social media is the audience that would be interested in your event.
If your event appeals to an older audience, say, above the age of 45, is utilising a platform where the average user is in their late-20s to mid-30s the best option? Probably not.
This could be where print methods such as flyers and leaflets, dotted in the areas where your audience already are, reign supreme. Much of digital methods involve bringing the audience to you, whereas print alternatives can reach the audience directly. The obvious downside is, however, that the effects of print methods are incredibly difficult to measure.
A Bit of Both
To promote your event in the best way, you should be prepared for trial and error as what works for one event may not work for another.
Experienced promoters will already have a good idea of where to market their event to get it seen by the right audience, whereas as an inexperienced promoter can easily blow much of their budget gaining lots of exposure in the wrong crowd.
In the present day, any business really does need a digital presence – even if it is just on social media. If a user cannot find your event by searching for it online, they may well question its legitimacy.